I do not believe "storehouse tithing" is a biblical, New Covenant law or doctrine. But I respect those who do. The hermeneutic or interpretative principle that leads me to reject any "law" for how and where New Covenant Christians should give their money comes from the mountain pictured above (Mount Tabor). Mount Tabor is the traditional mountain where Jesus was transfigured--where He changed in appearance--before Peter, James and John (Mark 9:2-9). Mark writes that when the disciples saw Jesus transformed, they became very afraid. Their fear was heightened when they saw the lawgiver of Israel (Moses) and the prophet of Israel (Elijah) suddenly standing next to Jesus and conversing with Him. Peter, not knowing what to do or say, blurts out, "Teacher, it is good that we all are here. Let us make three tents: One for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah." (v.5). Suddenly, a cloud descended and a Voice spoke to the disciples, "This is my beloved Son; listen to Him!" When the cloud disappeared the disciples looked around and saw NOBODY BUT JESUS.
The original two words that form the last sentence in God's instructions to the disciples are "akoute auton" - Hear Him! Christ's voice is the voice to which we listen. He supercedes the Old Covenant law of Moses and the Old Covenant sayings of the prophets. Hear Him! The Old Covenant ceremonial, civil, festival, dietary, and moral laws portray the Person and work of Christ for us. Likewise, the Old Covenant prophets portrayed through their ministry and words some aspect of the Person and work of the everlasting Prophet, Priest and King--Jesus Christ. But the Old Covenant, in the days of the disciples, possessed a "fading glory" (II Corinthians 3:13). The New Covenant, signed and sealed by the blood of Christ, is far superior in nature and glory! Whereas in the Old Covenant, you reaped the rewards of your personal obedience to the law, in the New Covenant, you reap the rewards of His personal obedience in your place. As Paul says, "I have a righteousness of my own that does not come from my obedience to any law, but a righteousness that comes from God and is mine through faith" (Philippians 3:9). Having my hope and confidence in Christ, I listen to Him! He is my Master. I "akoute auton." I hear Him!
There is, however, a slight problem. Unlike the disciples that walked with Christ on earth, we can't see Christ visibly or hear Him audibly. We can't physically walk with Him, personally and audibly talk with Him, privately eat with Him, or publicly minister with Him--so how in the world do we "hear Him" since He's gone? Jesus answers this question. Right before He left the disciples to "Go and prepare a place for those who love Him," He said something astonishing. "It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you . . . When the Spirit of truth comes, the Spirit will guide you . . ." (John 16:7-8, 13).
It's interesting to note that the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message makes a pronounced error when it comes to the Spirit of God. In Article II C, on 'God the Holy Spirit,' the 2000 BFM states, "At the moment of regeneration the Holy Spirit baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ." That's just not right. Nowhere in the Bible does it ever say the Spirit baptizes anybody. Christ baptizes us in the Spirit.
It might be a shock to some of our brethren to learn the BFM 2000 is not inerrant (smile). John the Baptist said "Jesus will baptize you with [lit., "in", the Gk. Preposition en] the Holy Spirit and with fire" (Mt. 3:11; Mk. 1:8; Lk. 3:16; Jn. 1:33; Acts 1:5; 11:16 see Sam Storms). Why does Jesus immerse us completely in His Spirit? Because the Holy Spirit is His gift to us; He is "another" (Gk. alloy - "of the same kind") Comforter who leads Christ's disciples. In other words, in as simple language as possible, the disciples were instructed by God to hear Christ. But Christ ascended into heaven, so He now baptizes all those who trust Him in the Holy Spirit. Hear Him! Hear the Spirit! We are called by God to "walk by the Spirit," to "listen to Spirit," as we serve, give, witness, etc... The royal law of Christ is to love one another as He has loved us, but the way we practically live out that commandment is to "listen to the Spirit of God" as He guides us while we live in this world.
Simply put, in the New Covenant agreement with God, you LISTEN TO HIM AS TO HOW YOU GIVE YOUR MONEY AWAY. There is no law. There is no code. There is the Spirit. Hear Him. And, by the way, the Spirit of God leading His people brings about powerful, even miraculous, things in this world. Those who obey the Spirit aren't antinomion at all--they are Spirit led. Probably the clearest writing I've read on this subject as it pertains to Christian giving is an article written by, of all people, Dr. John R. Rice.
Dr. John R. Rice writes:
"When anybody takes from a man the right to go to Jesus Christ and get instructions and follow Him, he is on the way to greater heresies. Popery of a Baptist preacher is wrong just like popery of Rome is wrong.
If a pastor has a right to tell the people where their money must go, then a local denominational secretary will have the right to say so, too. If a church will have a right to tell you where you can give your money, it will have a right to tell you what you must believe also. If a church can tell you that you have no right to inquire directly from God about where to give your money, then the church can tell you that you have no right to come to Christ for salvation except as you come through the local church and let the church decide it. That way is Catholicism and that is wrong. Any bold and insistent step into heresy means further heresy ahead.
Giving? Oh, yes. Giving tithes and offerings? Oh, yes, and far beyond that as I have delighted to do now for many, many years. If God leads, give it all through the local church, but only as He leads. But remember . . . (Jesus) has a right to say where it should go. No one has a right to take this crown right of Jesus Christ and put it on a preacher or board of deacons or a finance committee.
Dr. George W. Truett said this so wonderfully strong, standing on the steps of the Capitol at Washington, in 1920. Dr. B. H. Carroll said it strongly. Oh, men, forsake this new heresy not taught in the Bible, not accepted in any Statement of Faith, not taught by any reputable scholar or commentary.
I guess you could call what I believe about giving to the local church "Mt. Tabor giving." Akoute Auton! Listen to to the Spirit of God as He leads you in the amount you give, where He leads you to give it, and when He leads you to give it. It's all the Lord's anyway. Hear Him!
As a pastor, I trust that the Spirit will supply the needs of our church ministries through the promptings He gives people. If not, we will change how we do ministry, seeking to follow His leadership. He definitely does not need me to issue a law.
In His Grace,